Co-op Group to shut down 10 stores

The British Co-operative Group is to shut down or sell its 36 department stores following the great losses the division suffered last year, according to a media report. The group lost over £4 million last year. The group will close ten of the stores but hopes to sell the other 26 before February 2007. If not, it will close them too.

In the first round of closures 71 full-time and 70 part-time employees will lose their jobs. If the group is forced to close the remaining stores, a further 491 full-time and 379 part-time jobs will be cut.

The group has chosen to close the department store business in a bid to focus on its core businesses, which include its food stores and pharmacies. According to deputy chief executive Paul Hewitt, a review had revealed that “a complete exit from the sector, disposal of the stores and the re-investment of the proceeds into core businesses was the only commercial option.”

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